Let Me Explain Religious Freedom to Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis is the personification of religious idiocy. She has become a face for those in this country who honestly believe that their religion trumps our laws; those who think the Bible is more legally binding than our Constitution. She’s someone who thinks her rights are being violated because she’s being ordered not to infringe on the Constitutional rights of others – as per our Supreme Court and our Constitution.


It’s just lunacy.

She has absolutely no legal leg on which to stand, yet she’s still trying to fight this in court – even though the highest court in the land already ruled on same-sex marriage months ago. What she’s essentially trying to do is challenge the Supreme Court’s decision back to the very same Supreme Court that made the decision in the first place.

This all centers around Ms. Davis’ belief that forcing her to issue marriage licenses to gay couples violates her “religious freedom” – a belief that is completely ridiculous. She’s a government employee, not a religious figure. She was elected to adhere to the laws of Kentucky which are bound to the Constitution, and she’s refusing to do that.

So, once again I find myself having to explain what “religious freedom” actually means. It’s a fairly simple concept, yet so many people seem incapable (or just unwilling) to grasp it.

Religious freedom means that, on a personal level, every American is free to follow whatever religion they want. They’re also free to not follow any religion at all. As Americans we are free to attend church seven days a week, 365 days a year – or not at all. If you want to be Christian one year, Muslim the next and an atheist after that, guess what? That’s your right. Heck, if you want to follow some weird hybrid of a whole bunch of different religions combined into one set of spiritual beliefs, go right ahead.

Do you know what the best part is? This country is set up so that no law can ever force anyone to adhere to a certain set of religious beliefs or principles. In your private life, or your places of worship, you can be as religious as you want.

However...

Once you go into work, school or any number of public, non-religious places – your religious rights change. While some are protected, such as observing certain religious holidays or even the right to organize hate-filled religious protests, others are not.

For example, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church can protest all they want, but that same person couldn’t go to work at Home Depot wearing a “God Hates F*gs” shirt claiming “religious freedom.”


In other words, religious freedom is not without limits. Especially if you’re a government employee, like Ms. Davis.

As an elected official for the State of Kentucky, she swore an oath not to govern based on biblical law, but to uphold the laws of the state – which, again, are bound by our Constitution. I couldn’t care less what she thinks of same-sex marriage, because her job isn’t to determine who should or shouldn’t get married based on her own personal feelings. Just like a county clerk couldn’t have denied her the right to marry for the second, third or fourth time based on their personal religious beliefs concerning divorce – she can’t legally do that to gay couples.

Her job is to issue marriage licenses in accordance with the State of Kentucky which is bound to the Constitution of the United States of America. If she wants to become an anti-gay marriage advocate, she needs to quit her job and go join some hate group filled with knuckle-dragging fools like herself. She has no right (nor does any other business owner or government employee) to deny service to anyone based on religious beliefs.

Using your religion to try to justify denying Americans their Constitutional rights isn’t “religious freedom” – it’s discrimination. And yes, it’s as simple as that.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • John Affolter

    While I may agree that in some religions it is just as bad/evil to get a divorce as to marry someone of the same sex; I have not found any biblical substantiation on that subject. It states very clearly that Soddom and Gomorrah where destroyed because of their rebellion against God and his word. One of the sins listed in that rebellion was homosexuality. So I do believe that Kim Smith has more ground to stand on for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses than you do for condemning her divorces.

    • Toxic Avenger

      I found many verses in literally 3 second of Google searching. You should try harder.

    • Steve Temke

      In one of the Harry Potter books, it was revealed that Dumbledore was gay and the author was OK with that. My point is that neither book, your precious bible, nor the Potter stories has anything whatsoever to do with the the laws in this country.

      • Karen B

        You win. I screen shotted your reply and tweeted it. You are beloved! 🙂 (twitter: karenb0716)

      • YES YES YES!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Jen

      There are actually more references in the bible against divorce than homosexuality, and if you studied the bible, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t have to do with “gay marriage” – or two people in a loving relationship, but a rape culture. Have you actually studied the bible? Even Jesus himself said: Jesus then answers, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:7-9).

      • Bacon Baby

        actually, it had to do with the sexually immorality or the citizens AND their caring for no one but themselves.

    • noah vail

      that would be fine if it weren’t for that pesky constitution…if you want to live in a theocracy go to iran for a while and then get back to me with your findings

    • First of all, why are you on a forwards progressive site if you have these beliefs? Second, she has NO leg to stand on because church and state are totally separate. Her own religious beliefs do not trump state law. If you were to break a law and state it was because of religious freedom, you will still get whatever punishment because that is NOT what religious freedom means. Get educated. And it’s nice that people can pick and choose what is more “damning” from the bible. This attitude is why so many people have issues with religious people. That is why religion is getting pushed out because people use it as an excuse to be bigots and to discriminate people. Its completely asinine.

      • Howard Sands

        You hit the nail on the head. Your last two sentences really said it all. Thanks.

      • James O’Brien

        Separation of church and state is not us law whatsoever. Its just a quote, many people think usa has separation of church and state law’s but there are no such laws.

      • James O’Brien

        Congress shall make no law respecting the free exercise of religion. Thats usa constitution law. The usa law makers can’t make any law that hinders free exercise of religion.

      • AndInThisCorner

        And congress hasn’t made any laws telling you how to exercise your religion. If your beliefs prevent you from doing a job that is YOUR problem. Government contracts cannot discriminate based on sex. That means that any two citizens can enter a marriage contract regardless of their gender. It’s a contract between two people for legal reasons. Don’t let it get you all twisted up.

      • Howard Sands

        James, So what you’re saying is that anybody can exercise their religion on anyone else.

    • Howard Sands

      She has no ground to stand on. Apparently you didn’t read the article. or you’re in denial.
      We are condemning her divorces because she ‘s a hypocrite, but nobody denied giving her them.

      • Bacon Baby

        FIRST, no one said she was without sin. The bible states NO ONE is without sin.

        Second, homosexuality is considered an abomination. There is no comparing the two sins……
        Third, Kim IS guilty of breaking the law and her rights NOT infringed ONLY because there were people under her who COULD give out the certificates. Had she been in a one deep position, she WOULD have been protected by the constitution.

    • Stephanie Raymond

      Actually, Jesus said that remarrying after divorce except for adultery and fornication was a sin…. Which Kim is guilty of she cheated WITH husband three while married to husband one. Not that it matters because the Bible is a bad work of fiction and god is an imaginary friend. The world will be better when people join reality.

      • Bacon Baby

        oh, so believing we came from monkeys is more sane than thinking we were divinely created….interesting

      • Howard Sands

        Its more sane to those of us who believe a little thing called science. The Republican Party of years past believed this. They have since been taken over by people such as yourself, who wear their religion on their sleeve and DEMAND that we all live like you and follow YOUR rules. Well, your bible’s rules. But only the ones you want to follow.

  • Steven Hauptman

    Bub By.

  • Irvin Case

    And we have a lovely departing gift for you, Ms. Davis. Thanks for playing.

    • Howard Sands

      A gift to us all would be her departing.

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  • John Affolter

    Everyone who commented on my post, thank you for researching it for yourselves. I am glad to see that there are Christians out there that actually still study God’s word and don’t just jump on the bandwagon of whatever one person says. I was wrong to publish my previous comment and apologise for it.

    • Howard Sands

      Not only are there people who dispute “God’s” word. There are people who dispute that there’s a God.
      And guess what. There ain’t nothing you can do about it. We are a DEmocracy. Not a THEocracy. Get over it and save your bible thumping for your church.

      • 12Not6

        Actually we are a Republic not a democracy, there is a difference.

      • Bacon Baby

        exactly…a democratic republic where EVERY voice matters and is counted. Learn to read Howard before making an ass of yourself

      • Howard Sands

        Your definition of people’s voices being heard must be that their beliefs take precedence over the law. Now I understand what you’re saying. Gibberish.

      • Bacon Baby

        not at all. She is protected by the constitution for her religious beliefs. If her job, be it government or private sector, has a responsibility to allow her to avoid areas of law that conflict with her faith as long as it doesn’t cause a undue burden on the employer. In this case she was in the wrong because she was blocking the deputies from doing what she refused to do. imposing her beliefs on others

  • And the Lord sayeth unto Kim Davis aka Felica: BYE!

    • Bacon Baby

      and yet……..she’s back to work……

  • Mr. Privilege

    Mrs. Davis is also a lifelong registered Democrat, which this article fails to mention.

    • strayaway

      A Democrat put into jail by a judge who was a Bush appointee. Judge Bunning’s father was a Hall of Fame pitcher who was later elected a Republican Senator.

      • Howard Sands

        Ok. So, like Mr Priviledge, you appear to be indicating that even Democrats can be d-bags, and even Republicans can do the right thing.

      • strayaway

        No, I think Obama should be sharing a prison cell with W. Bush. I just thought it interesting, in a small world sort of way, that the judge who made this ruling was Republican and was the son of a celebrity. The story line suggests that Davis would be a Republican and the judge would be a Democrat. Presumptions, even yours, can be wrong. You can insult W. Bush and Reagan all you want. I don’t care. Just don’t criticize Calvin Coolidge.

      • Howard Sands

        I made no presumptions. I already knew who was of which political party. Its awful presumptuous of you to think that I was being presumptuous.
        The ironic thing is, that those who feel it necessary to mention the political affiliations are only doing so because they are contrary to the norm.
        I don’t recall Bush, Obama or Coolidge being a part of this article.

      • strayaway

        O good. I presumed you presumed I was Republican. You would agree then that if Kim Davis should be in jail for not carrying out laws, then other elected representatives of any party should also be jailed.

      • Howard Sands

        Yes I do.

    • Howard Sands

      Your point being, what? Either you think she’s right and you’re applauding that she’s a Democrat, or you think that she’s wrong, and you blame the fact that she’s a Democrat. Which is it? and which are you? Are you also a Democrat?

  • Bacon Baby

    Your story could not be any further from the truth. Her right IS protected. EVEN THE ACLU recognizes it!! The REAL issue is she was given an option to have her deputy sign the licenses and she did NOT allow that, even though they are legally allowed to do so. It was her stubbornness that landed her in jail, NOT her religious stance which IS protected.

  • Dialn911

    I don’t agree with Kim Davis at all, but I’m still flabbergasted at the amount of ignorance displayed by those who think that separation of church and state is in the Constitution.

    Separation of church and state is a quote from a private letter written in regards to a personal matter that was taking place. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution or US law.

    In the First Amendment, when it talks about making no law respecting religion, it’s talking about not having a state sanctioned and recognized Church of the nation. They did this because at the time, the British government had used religion to persecute others, i.e. The Church of England.
    The First Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with keeping God or any religious reference out of government or government matters. Separation of church and state has nothing to do with the Constitution, has nothing to do with I.S. law and people that sit there and quote it and run around and say such things are just as ignorant as the religious zealots who try to act as if biblical law is US law.

    • Howard Sands

      The letter is not in regards to a personal matter, as indicated, word for word, below…

      “Separation of church and state” (sometimes “wall of separation betweenchurch and state”) is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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